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A PROJECT TO CREATE A DATABASE OF FRUIT VARIETIES AND DOCUMENT SUSTAINABLE LIVING STORIES IN THE EASTERN BLACK SEA REGİON OF TURKEY

Gola Culture, Arts, and Ecology NGO brings in a new platform to add to its long standing Green Yayla Culture, Arts and Ecology Festival experiences and its strong network in the Eastern Black Sea Region. Gola, after years of its ecological projects, gives a start to the new “Agriculture Project”. This aims TO CREATE A DATABASE OF FRUIT VARIETIES AND TO DOCUMENT THE SUSTAINABLE LIVING STORIES IN THE EASTERN BLACK SEA REGION. It will use oral history techniques as methodology and it will be looking for the traces in the lives of elders and current life stories through the use of interviews with local people. Then, there will be documentation of fruit varieties, cultural inheritance and sustainable living stories to be collected in the database. All this work will be documented with photography and video in order to create a visual archive. Gola strives to instill awareness of the natural wealth and beauty of the region to the local people, and to make them plant fruit trees which are becoming almost extinct. It intends to remind the local people the deep and meaningful relationship that traditionally existed between Laz people and nature. Another important part of the work is to rediscover the Laz names of traditional fruits. Gola, by learning this process of presenting the life stories of the local knowledge base through collecting and documenting them; and with its contacts with the local people having many years of experience in the bio-cultural life; will further develop also its means of collecting information for future projects. There are experts involved in the Gola team like forestry engineers, botanists, sociologists and field researchers as well as local stewards. This combined wealth of knowledge will help us to find out about these local bio-cultural villagers in the highlands and to understand the issues concerning the local agriculture. This project will be supported with workshops in the Black Sea region and in İstanbul. The project after a long term work, aims to document old and discover new fruit varieties, record them, support their cultivation, and organize events to contribute to sustainable living in the region. As a consequence of this project, it is planned that marketing strategies will be developed and the local economy will be supported with a rekindled interest working with the local producers and traders . In due time developments and outcomes of the project will be announced and shared with the public…

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